PSA: Retailers

​Here is a PSA to retailers. I get it that you want to maintain contact w/your new and existing clients who shop your websites. It is awesome that you wish to maintain a connection to your shoppers.

What is not awesome is when you bombard your perspective new clients with daily and weekly emails trying to sell your wares. Even worse, when I unsubscribe from your emails, you continue to send them with a message, “oh it might take days or weeks to unsubscribe.” You ain’t fooling no one.

And when you tell me, “we do not sell or give away your email”, you are a liar! I know because I routinely use fake email accounts with your business name @ my domain. Since I have a catch-all account for emails randomly sent to anything @ mydomain I can see how many times you sell my data.

/rant

Still

​It appears le blog is still being subjected to random brute force attacks. If you notice long load times or get a "500 internal server" error message, it is because I’m being timed out by the server to prevent it from crashing.1 I’m not gone, just try again in a bit and it will be back. If you get updates via RSS, you shouldn’t notice any issues.

I keep getting grumpy notes from my ISP about my server CPU stats. It isn’t me specifically that is being targeted. I’m nothing special in the grand scheme of the big interwebs. However, WordPress has some weak areas that bots and hackers routinely try to take advantage of to proliferate s p @ m. They basically take advantage of inherent internet workings to overload a server with too many page requests.

Anyway, I’m having to step up my game a bit. I’ve turned on site-caching from the server instead of from within WP. This just means a visitor gets served a cached copy of my index page vs the server rendering a file from scratch every time someone visits. Loading a static file only consumes bandwidth vs compiling php files on each request. The cache file gets updated every time I create a new post.

Hopefully, this will cut way back on the server load. If the problem continues, I’ll most likely move my blog to WP servers. They do a lot of work on the back end to prevent this sort of nonsense. I mean it is their product so it makes sense. lol My ISP helps when I ask but they are smaller and leave most of the burden on me. I simply don’t have the resources to combat such things.

Time will tell.




  1. Nifty little protection mechanism I didn’t even know servers did that. lol []

Ad

I have a dirty confession to make. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there but seeing so much of it these days, I just felt the need to fess up.

I’m not an ad-clicker. There I said it. I never click on in-app advertisements. I find them a waste of time, rarely if ever, related to my tastes. We hear constantly how ad placement is driven by user meta data and seems to be the ‘golden chalice’ of all the big players out there. I’ve never once clicked on an online ad to buy a product. 

Don’t get me wrong, I see the point but until it gets to a level where the ads are truly relevant to me then I’ll most likely never be an ad-clicker. Using my search results is rarely helpful. Google+ often gets the closest out of them all. I wouldn’t click on a Facebook ad if you paid me. The problem, for me anyway, is the few items I actually search out on the Web are lost in random queries I do all the time. While this might help target ads to me a tiny bit better, it’s like pouring a barrel of food on my plate and then me finding one item out of all of it that I will eat.

IMO companies are too greedy in trying to put ads in front of my eyes. The email lists, the hard sells, the device cookies, are all an attempt to get ads in front of your face. It is pointless to me because it’s just a brute force attack. The moment you click on an ad or go to a referral link, then the real bombardment begins. If you aren’t using a disposable email, you’re in for a real treat. hehehe

Some developers make their living off the ads they push into apps to keep them free. I get it. And for some apps, it’s the only way to go. But for more popular or heavily integrated apps, not having a paid, ad-free version is a deterrent, at least for me.

I don’t mind having sites or companies track my habits, likes, dislikes, etc. Tracking my habits w/o trying to tie it specifically to me as a person is the way to go if you want me to click. IMO this is why Google+ will continue to dominate the ad market. They are pushing heavy into this and less on specifically targeting you vs your online presence. If companies really want to find the ‘sweet spot’, they need to continue tweaking their ability to be very specific without constantly trying to bombard me with any and every ad possible. Then, and only then, will I ever consider clicking on ads.

Stuff

I had a caller tell me the other day she couldn’t be bothered to worry about tying up an emergency line because “that stuff doesn’t effect me.” Well true, at least until you do need someone and then the line is tied up by some other very inconsiderate person who can’t be bothered. Karma can sometimes be a painful teacher. I hope she never finds out first hand. But the flat out indifference surprised me a bit. ‘Screw you because I can’t be bothered to care about my actions but I’ll be the first to scream when it happens to me,‘ seems to be the norm vs the exception these days. While the result of your actions may not always be readily quantifiable, it should matter that your behavior impacts others. Otherwise, we devolve into a race of adults w/the minds of self-obsessed teenagers. Think on that for a bit.  /rant

Another caller didn’t believe he’d reached the real police dept and kept hanging up. He’d then call back to try and get someone who sounded more official. He got me and apparently thought I was official enough to report his noise complaint to.

The best call was a guy reporting a 311 (naked person) in the wharf who kept going on and on about how unattractive the naked person was. I mean he really went on about it. Couldn’t be bothered so much that he was naked but that he was unattractive and naked. lol At least he was honest about it.

*

The project I’m assigned to is still ongoing. What was supposed to be roughly 6 months has turned into a year, or it will have by the time the assignment is over. I don’t mind but many of the delays, most unnecessary politics, have sucked some of the fun out of it for me. I still get to influence how it will function and look and as a user that will be the biggest benefit. I could go on and on over the drama but it’s not worth it. In the end, it’s gone from being exciting and fun to just a paycheck.1  lol I don’t think I’d be cut out for civil service in the higher echelons. I’d get too disenfranchised I think.

Speaking of, more and more of my coworkers, as they discover the breadth of work I’ve created, are saying I’m in the wrong position or I should try to wrangle another job out of this. I am really appreciative that they recognize not only the level of skill but also the amount of work I’ve put into this thing. That said, I really enjoy my job. Primarily because it matters in a very real way. My actions have direct consequences on people’s lives and I value that. While it is true I don’t use all of my available skills, I use plenty and I’m content in that. And it is projects like this that give me a chance to show off my less used abilities. I guess in the end I would consider other options if they were available but it would have to be pretty good for me to jump ship, so to speak.




  1. Ok, the geek in me still likes it but the zeal is gone. []

Twitter Twatter


Pat & Moby

I got to meet my 3rd twitter contact today. He was also my first overseas guest. Patireland from Ireland was in town for business. We hung out over dinner and then coffee. Charming fellow and it was an enjoyable meeting. We had a great conversation about the use of twitter, Facebook and other online social sites.

Sadly, he had to see me act in my work capacity.1

All in all, a great first meeting.




  1. An 800 was harassing the employee at the Starbucks. A quickie phone call to work took care of that. []